A Portarlington man who is serving in the defence services has been given the benefit of the probation act after paying €2,000 compensation to a garda he twice assaulted.
Paddy O’Sullivan (23), with an address at 7 Barrow View, Portarlington, was charged with two counts of assault causing harm, and threatening or abusive behaviour, at Foxcroft Street, Portarlington, on October 29, 2018.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that there was a fight taking place and a garda tried to break it up, but the accused punched him to the head and then ran up the road.
The garda followed and again the accused turned around and punched him.
The garda experienced soreness after the punches and also suffered a broken thumb. Sgt Kirby said he was very shaken up by it and very upset.
The accused had no previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Louise Troy said that her client, who is serving in the defence forces, had €1,000 in court as a symbol of his remorse and he had also completed anger management and an alcohol awareness course.
Ms Troy said the accused was involved in sports in his community and this incident was an absolute aberration.
The accused’s mother was present with him in court and she told Judge Staines that she knew how ashamed he was. She said she would hate to see this incident affecting his life and career, adding that he had absolutely learnt his lesson.
Sgt Kirby said he had known the accused since he was young and he was appalled at what he did.
Judge Catherine Staines said this case was a clear example of alcohol abuse and how alcohol changes people.
She said the offence meritted a prison sentence, however, as the accused had no previous convictions, had paid compensation and attended anger management and alcohol awareness, she directed the accused to pay a further €1,000 compensation and write a letter of apology.
“€1,000 for each punch,” said Judge Staines.
The accused paid a further €1,000 and the judge applied the probation act, section 1.1.